The return of Daniel Sturridge and captain Jordan Henderson were a lovely sight for Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp even if his team were far less easy on the eye in a laboured 1-0 win over Swansea City on Sunday.
Both players came off the bench in the second half as Liverpool moved up to sixth in the Premier League, six points behind leaders Manchester City and Leicester City, with a nervy win courtesy of a second-half penalty from James Milner.
Liverpool lacked the stylish fluency of last weekend’s 4-1 dismantling of Manchester City away, although a resolute defensive display and the return of two potentially key figures ensured there was plenty to smile about for Klopp.
“It was good news for the big Liverpool family,” the German told reporters. “They are two very important players for us and they’re back in the race. They did well for their situation and from where they’ve come from after a long break with difficult injuries. Now they are back and that’s really good for us.”
Sturridge, whose goals were a crucial part of Liverpool’s failed title charge two seasons ago, had played just three games this term and had not played since October 4, while Henderson missed all but the first two league games.
Providing they can stay fit, both players are likely to become key components for Klopp as he continues to restructure the team and build on his positive start in the Anfield dugout.